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School closures, Childcare and free school meals

The Council is continuing its childcare arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic by running a hub model across Merthyr Tydfil, to meet the needs of school age children up to the age of 14 whose parents are critical key workers and for our most vulnerable families. Arrangements for Pre-school children will follow the same criteria and will be available through existing pre-school childcare providers across the community.

Where pre-school childcare is requested families with older siblings can request for all their childcare needs to be met by the childcare provider. Where school age children have been accessing these settings during school holidays and the families are known to the providers, applications can be made for these children to remain with the childcare provider during term time, provided they meet the key worker eligibility requirements

The Local Authority will continually review the situation based upon the demand for services.

IN ALL INSTANCES THE SAFEST OPTION TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS, AND TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN, IS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME DURING THE CLOSURES.

Every effort to care for children at home should be made before using childcare and new applicants should consider carefully the guidance provided below on key worker roles before applying for a place within these hubs.

IF ONE PARENT IS A CRITICAL WORKER BUT THE OTHER PARENT IS NOT THEN THE OTHER PARENT SHOULD PROVIDE SAFE ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS AT HOME WHEN POSSIBLE .

Currently childcare hub (schools) are open weekdays between 8am to 6pm, existing pre-school childcare settings opening times vary but may provide earlier access upon request.

Childcare hubs may also be available on weekends between 8am and 6pm where there is identified demand.

Please note there is different eligibility criteria for weekdays and weekends (including bank holidays). Guidance documents are available on this page which provide further information.

Parents will be informed of any changes as they happen through this web site and by providers of these services.

Please note: We require 5 days’ notice to provide childcare, we will not be able to meet your requirements if this notice is not provided. All childcare requirements should be applied for using the below forms

 Apply for COVID-19 Weekday Childcare
View Weekday Childcare Guidance 
(Please note this form only covers term time, a separate application form must be completed for school holiday periods)

Apply for COVID-19 Weekend Childcare
View Weekend Childcare Guidance

For further information, please email hub.schools@merthyr.gov.uk

Key Workers for weekday provision

Parents must be key workers within:

  • Health and Social Care sectors. including Social Workers.
  • Education and childcare staff
  • Key public services, i.e. those responsible for the management of the deceased.
  • Local and national government (This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits)
  • Food and other necessary goods (This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery)
  • Public safety and national security (This includes police and support staff, fire and rescue service employees (including support staff) and prison and probation staff)
  • Transport (This includes those who will keep the road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass)
  • Utilities, communication and financial services
Key Workers for weekend/bank holiday provision:

Parents must be key workers within:

  • Health and Social Care sectors including Social Workers.
  • Public safety and national security (This includes police and support staff, fire and rescue service employees (including support staff) and prison and probation staff)
Please note you must be actively working during the time your child is attending the childcare.

 

Locality Hub School(s) Accepting Key Worker pupils From:
North Goetre Primary School Primary Schools - Goetre; Pantyscallog; Dowlais; Gellifaelog; St Aloysius; Gwaunfarren; Ysgol y Graig
High Schools - Pen y Dre, Bishop Hedley
   
Central Caedraw Primary School Primary Schools - Caedraw; Heolgerrig; Cyfarthfa Park; Ysgol y Coed y Derwen; St. Illtyds; St. Marys; Twynyrodyn
High Schools - Cyfarthfa 
South 1 Afon Taf High School Primary School - Troedyrhiw; Abercanaid; Ynysowen
High Schools - Afon Taf
South 2 Trelewis Primary School Primary school - Trelewis; Bedlinog; Edwardsville
High Schools - Afon Taf
   
Welsh Language  Ysgol Rhyd y Grug Primary Schools -  Ysgol Rhyd y Grug; Ysgol Santes Tudfil
High Schools - Rhydywaun
   


Greenfield Special School & Ty Dysgu Homfrey will also open to key worker families as per the guidance

Pre-school childcare provision

The Welsh Government announced the introduction of the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme on 6 April. This scheme is designed to offer funded childcare places for pre-school children and for some older children of critical workers and those children identified as vulnerable.

Registered childcare providers are working with us to provide supported childcare places for eligible critical keyworker households. Some childcare providers remain open across the county borough, with a range of opening hours, and will be able to meet the needs of younger children 0-4years, as well as some older siblings.

For those families applying for childcare in one of the pre-school childcare hubs, you may wish to access the privacy notice which explains how your data will be used, stored and shared.  Read the notice here.

Eligibility criteria for access to pre-school childcare is the same as for school-based childcare.

Locality Setting 
North 1 Funtazia Day Nursery, Prince Charles Hospital  
North 2 Seren Bach, Gurnos Community Centre  
Central 1 Here We Grow, The College Merthyr Tydfil  
Central 2 Cylch Meithrin Twyncarmel, Carmel Chapel, Twyncarmel  
South 1 Trinity Day Nursery   
South 2 Kidzden, Community Centre, Treharris  
South 3 Llwynog Bychain Beddllwynog  

 

Free School Meals

From 4th May, families with children entitled to Free School Meals will receive a direct payment in to their bank.

The Council is sending letters out to explain the process, which will include the option of continuing to receive a voucher instead of direct payment.

Please make sure that you follow the guidance on the letter so that payments can be made, or vouchers issued.

You’ll need to give us all the relevant information by 12pm on Friday, 1st May for the first payment to be made on Thursday 7th May.

If you miss the deadline your payment will be backdated.

If you have any queries please email fsmcovid19@merthyr.gov.uk or call 01685 725000 and a member of our team will be able to help you. Thank you.

 

Making the most of your free school meals food vouchers or payments

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